The HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe accounts for approximately twice the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases as in Western Europe, and is primarily driven by injection drug use (IDU) (two-thirds) and secondarily through the heterosexual partners of these drug users (one-third of new infections). Approximately 1.6 million people are living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and 150,000 people were newly infected in 2007. The majority of people living with HIV in this region live in the Russian Federation and in Ukraine. This is likely the result of the many political and social changes confronting eastern Europe, including changes in drug trafficking routes and drug prices, leading to an increase in the size of the population using drugs and HIV transmission within drug-sharing and sexual networks. (14)
New diagnoses among injection drug users, female sex workers, and men who have sex with men are reported from testing in other Central Asian countries, including Republic of Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekisan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. 79% of infections in the region are caused by subtype A and 15% by subtype B. CRF03_AB is found only in this region (12).
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